Technique is Movement Skill?

Posted: February 10, 2012 in Coaching Concepts, Movement Training, Teaching & Learning
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Hi again,

Ok so this might be a little different but then again it might just be blatantly obvious.

I am sure we have all heard, whatever your sport that there is a technical requirement in terms of execution of an action.  I know there is in tennis and that it is something that is prominent in many tennis sessions.  Personally I believe in functional technique on the tennis court as this allows a player to explore tactical options and execute theses tactics to a high level.  I also believe that technique is redundant in isolation and that there must be a desired tactical outcome that provides context for the technique.  I also believe that this extends to movement and footwork and all round physical attributes.

The thing is that there are degrees of tactical outcome that is available as a player develops their skills and understanding.  Take for example the simple tactical of moving your opponent. One can place the ball to move the opponent using simple “bunting” technique where the ball goes in the intended direction but the technique does not affect the ball in terms of spin etc and as a result applies small pressure to the opponent.  The same tactic can be executed with vicious spin, pace etc utilising angles that will apply maximum pressure to the opponent. In addition there are all the degrees of execution in between.

All the other factors (physical, technical, mental) limit the execution of the tactic so the coach must firstly show what the final result will look like and start the player on the road to reaching it.   In this post we are concerned with technique.

Many coaches have differing views on this and also coaches from a physical background also have input into developing athletes/players.  There is a view that a player must develop the technical skills (sports specific ) early and there is the alternative view in that fundamental movement skills should be the emphasis.

Here is my thought – isn’t technical development movement skill?

to elaborate take the “shape” of a ground stroke.  A player must learn to coordinate the swing path and the kinetic chain to produce the most efficient stroke.  Moving an object in this motion such as a football will educate the body in the desired execution.  Allowing players to hop, squat, rotate etc will also stimulate the appropriate sequences that will be required to execute the strokes.  Holding the racket and re producing the strokes also helps as does movements such as arm sprials and 3D stepping/balancing exercises.   In addition there must be some receiving/sending and as a tennis coach wanting tennis players I will use throwing and catching over the net along with drop feeds to be hit progressing to feeding over the net and rallying.  All this can occur within a single session and that over the a period of weeks players can develop movement skills and tennis technique which in essence is simply the moving of the body in a set way.  Any human is capable of moving the racket in the “right” way.

Once the player has developed the basics and the coach is refining and introducing more complexity one should not forget that the movement skills will really help in the learning of new skills and dealing with greater complexities.  Taking a 360 approach, including body motions, footwork, movement and racket skills (in context) players will become rounded in competency.

Good luck to all..



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